Mar 2, 2014

[Movies] Coffee Date (2006)

I've been rather disappointed with the LGBT moves that I've gone through in my recent efforts to watch more movies of this nature. As much as there's more than enough room in this world for pretty much every single creative endeavor, it doesn't necessarily mean that I'm gong to enjoy every single one of them. But as a guy who's oddly determined to write movie reviews for this blog with little financial reward, I continue to press on.

Coffee Date was actually a bit more endearing than most. It is by no means perfect, but it certainly strikes an interesting chord and manages to nicely tell a unique yet still pretty funny story. And at the end of a long day at work, watching a movie like this certainly made for an interesting way to get past the stress.

This just goes to show that there are so many different aspects to having fully realized LGBT stories in movies. And while this was one of the seemingly sillier ones, it's still one that deserved to be brought to life and more storytellers and filmmakers should continue to risk the venture to get those stories out there. And maybe I should, too.

Synopsis: Coffee Date is a 2006 LGBT romantic comedy written and directed by Stewart Wade. It actually started as a short film and was later expanded into a full movie.

The movie begins with Todd (Jonathan Bray) showing up at a coffee shop for a blind date of sorts. He encounters the openly gay Kelly (Wilson Cruz) and the two end up sharing a table temporarily while both wait for their dates. The conversation reveals they share a lot of common interests and the waiting becomes less awkward. But it's when they finally exchange names that Todd realizes that Kelly is his date and he mistakenly expected him to be a woman. Apparently Todd's brother Barry (Jonathan Silverman) had pulled a prank on him by setting all this up.

In an attempt to get even, Todd and Kelly decide to pretend to be a couple and get as far as going back to Todd's apartment, since Barry has crashed there for some time now. The whole thing naturally shocks Barry enough to finally move out that very night and Todd and Kelly are just happy to become friends. But things start to spin out of control as Barry tells their mother (Sally Kirkland), who flies in to show how much she's ready to accept her "gay" son. And more and more people soon believe that Todd has been gay all this time, much to Todd's frustration.

The movie could have gone wrong in so many ways right from the start. They could have made Todd homophobic. They could have opted for him to fool his brother by also acting in a highly stereotypical manner. But they didn't go into a lot of these tropes and managed to keep things fair and realistic enough, which is a good thing.

I have to admit, I kinda of laughed at how easily people accepted that Todd was gay. It was definitely a funny scenario to put out there since we all have those straight friends who do a lot of things that make us wonder. We totally know they're straight, but we continue to have our doubts. And Todd nicely captured this conundrum and how we watch his family, friends and work colleagues all get in on wanting to show how accepting they are of gay people was key.

I don't know if we needed to take things to the level of Todd going through a bit of an identity crises in terms of his sexuality. Just because everyone believes you're gay doesn't mean you need to start to think about. And to go as far as considering having sex with another guy was really pushing it. That's when things sort of when into the realm of gay wish fulfillment in terms of exploring that particular scenario, but I suppose we should forgive them that little thing.

Bray was a pretty interesting actor and I think he has a lot more potential for comedy should he push tings further. Cruz was quite the darling though and he really carried the movie more with his scenes. I didn't think I'd like him at first, but in the end I did. He needs more movies!

On the whole, Coffee Date is pretty light entertainment fare and nothing to change the game as it were in terms of LGBT representation in movies. But in a way it does given it helps show that gay comedies are just comedies and they can be a lot of fun. Although we probably didn't need Jonathan Silverman's antics towards the end. Regardless, the movie was still fun enough to to rate a good 3.5 moments of nerding out over old movies out of a possible 5.

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